The Grenada Revolution Online

Bishop Speech - Maurice Bishop Speaks
to U.S. Working People,
5 June 1983, Hunter College, New York City

Thank you very much for that very warm welcome sisters and brothers, comrades all.

May I start out by bringing to you warm fraternal greetings from the free people of revolutionary Grenada.

May I also right in the very beginning say how very, very pleasant it is to be back in New York among you, to be in this great hall, where there are so many hundreds of our sisters and brothers. That is going to bring a great deal of pleasure to our free people, and I will certainly report your warmth, your enthusiasm, and your revolutionary support for our process when I return.

Appreciation, Acknowledgements and Introductions

I would also like to place on the record our deep appreciation for the people responsible in Hunter College for lending us this facility this evening.

We are here among friends. But looking around, there are two people here who are right now representing their countries at the United Nations - people who are involved in liberation struggles, who are struggling for freedom for their peoples.

It's very important right at the beginning, sisters and brothers, that we acknowledge the presence of Dr. Zehdi Terzi, the representative to the United Nations of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO. Dr. Terzi can be assured, as always, that the people of Palestine and their sole authentic representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, will always have the full support of the fraternal people of Grenada.

And there is another liberation movement whose representative is present among us. And this one too has been in the news quite a lot recently. Contrary to what some people have been trying to pretend - that this particular liberation organization is not willing to take the struggle to the highest stage - right in the capital city of the racist apartheid country of South Africa, a bomb went off.

The South African racists who have spent so much time inventing all sorts of ingenious ways of oppressing the people of South Africa, the Black majority, are now discovering that in common with all of the national liberation movements around the world that are forced to move to the highest stage of the struggle, the African National Congress [ANC] is also willing to make that step.

In saluting the deputy permanent representative of the ANC to the United Nations, let us ask him to bring back to his people, to bring back to his organization, to bring back to Oliver Tambo, to Nelson Mandela whose spirit is here with us, to bring back the love, the respect, the concern, the admiration, and the fraternal feelings of all of us: Brother David Ndaba.

Sharing the Experience of the Last Four Years in Grenada

The last time I had the opportunity, sisters and brothers, comrades, of being in New York and addressing our Grenadian nationals, other people from the Caribbean and Latin America, and of course the people of the United States was four years ago. Since those four years have passed, a lot has happened in our country. A lot has happened in the world. And one of the reasons that we have come to the United States is to share our experiences of the last four years with the people of the United States.

We were anxious to do this because there has been a major campaign over the last several weeks and months - starting from last year in November with some remarks by the U.S. vice-president in Miami, continuing with more remarks from the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the deputy secretary of defense, the admiral of the fleet. The president himself, as you know, on the tenth of March addressing manufacturers; on the twenty-third of March in the famous, or infamous, Star Wars speech; and more recently again to the joint session of Congress on the twenty-seventh of April. And in all these, different allegations were made against our country.

TransAfrica and the Black Caucus

And therefore we were particularly happy, comrades, to have the opportunity of an invitation from TransAfrica, the organization based in Washington that has been doing lobbying for Africa and the Caribbean. We were invited to come to address their sixth annual dinner last night, and that was a very successful event. We want to publicly thank TransAfrica, once again, for making this visit possible.

The Congressional Black Caucus, too, was involved as cosponsor of this visit, and we also want to place our appreciation for this on the record. And if anyone has any doubts at all about the growing strength of the Black vote, and of the increasing influence of Afro-Americans in this country, I want to let you know that it was precisely because of the pressures that were brought by our friends in the Black Caucus that a visa was eventually granted for the visit.

Other Objectives of the Visit

Of course, we set ourselves other objectives for the visit. These included the very important objective of trying to deepen and strengthen the people-to-people relations that have always existed between our two countries, Grenada and the United States. At the level of the people, there has never been any problem. We have always had excellent relations with the people of the United States.

In fact, in some years more American tourists come to our country than the entire population of our country. And if we go around and take a careful count, we may well discover that there are more Grenadians living in the United States than the whole population of Grenada.

And on top of that, there are several Americans who reside permanently in our country. And there is a medical school in Grenada where over 700 young Americans are earning their right to become doctors.

So from our point of view, clearly, bad relations do not make sense. From our point of view, the need to ensure that even more American visitors come to our country every year is a critical and burning need. And the opportunity, therefore, to speak directly to the people of the United States is a very important opportunity.

We also set an objective of trying to make contact with as many sectors and sections of American society as we could during this visit. And to this end, there have been several meetings this past week with congressmen and with other influential people in the society.

We have attempted over this period, also, to try to talk to as many people from the media as we could reach. That objective has gone quite well.

And another objective that we had was to use the period to deepen our relations with some of our closest friends in the United States, with our Black American sisters and brothers, with our Grenadian nationals, with those progressive forces right across the United States who have given us so much support unstintingly, to those who lead and are hard workers in the friendship societies and the solidarity committees. We were very anxious to speak to the sisters and brothers, to express our appreciation for the hard work that they have done, and to give them some idea as to what we are doing at this time in Grenada. That objective, also, has gone well.

Objective of Contact, Dialogue

Another objective was to try yet again to establish some form of official contact, an official dialogue, with the government of the United States. We, of course, cannot decide which government is going to be in power in the United States at any given moment in time. That is a matter for the people of the United States. We believe it is extremely important for us to maintain normal relations so that we are able to conduct proper dialogue in a civilized fashion with whomever happens to be in power at a particular time.

The question of ideological differences, the question of different paths of socioeconomic and political development, the question of geopolitical perspectives and of strategic consensuses and what not, is really neither here nor there in the final analysis. The fact of the matter is, if there is no established mechanism for holding dialogue, then there is no basis on which relations can be maintained in an effective way. We believe it is in the interests of both the peoples of the United States and of Grenada to have normal relations between our two governments.

We believe it is important because too much is at stake here. Too many of our nationals live in this country. And too many American citizens and students live in our country. There is a need for some kind of mechanism to be established. And that is why we have been struggling so hard to try to get some of the basic norms reestablished.

Let us exchange ambassadors, we have said. They have rejected that. So we have no ambassador accredited to Washington because they refuse to accept the credentials of the ambassador we have suggested. When they replaced their ambassador after the electoral victory of President Reagan in 1980 and a new ambassador came out in 1981, he was not accredited to Grenada. So we have to talk presumably using loud speakers.

Two Letters to Reagan

n 1981, on two occasions, I wrote letters to President Reagan - in March and again in August.

The first letter, a short letter, made the simple, obvious point: Look, you are a new president. We had hoped that as a new president you would take a new look at the situation, that you would be anxious to start off on as good relations as you can with all countries around the world.

We had hoped, therefore, that you would want relations normalized. And we went on in that letter to make the point that what we are saying is the true bottom line is dialogue; it is talks. Therefore, let us get these talks going. We are proposing no agenda with any preconditions. Let us look at all questions. Let us put them all on the table. Let us see what you perceive as problems, and we will tell you what we perceive as problems. Let us see if in the course of those discussions we can narrow down differences so at least the new beginning that is made will be on the basis of mutual understanding with less distrust and less suspicion.

No reply to that letter.

The second letter was August 1981. And this was a very long letter about twelve typed pages. And the reason there were twelve typed pages was not because there were twelve typed pages talking about an agenda. There were twelve typed pages because by that time, the hostile, aggressive course of destabilization against our government by the Ronald Reagan administration had been well established. So the letter went into the question of the propaganda destabilization against us. It went into the question of the economic destabilization against us. We were able to speak about a discrimination that is exercised against banana farmers in our country. We were able to speak about the attempt to offer money to the Caribbean Development Bank on the sole condition that Grenada be excluded.

We were able to raise a number of these issues, including the fact that in April 1981, when we had organized a co-financing conference to raise funds for our international airport project, the American administration sent their diplomats to European capitals trying to persuade member countries of the EEC [European Economic Community] not to attend that conference.

We raised in that letter the question of military destabilization, which was already beginning.


We pointed out that one well-known mercenary in April of 1981 had gone publicly on television in this country admitting that he was training mercenaries in Miami for an invasion of our country, admitting that he was recruiting mercenaries. This man's name, if some of you may have seen that program, was John Dean, a well-known mercenary.

We said, how can you allow this in your country? There are international conventions against this kind of thing. And sending marines directly to somebody's country is no less a sin than allowing mercenaries to be supplied, to be trained, and to have a logistical base on your own territory.

So we raised all these points. Once again, we said we are willing to talk at whatever level is deemed appropriate - let us make a start.

Again, no reply.

The fact is, sisters and brothers, we have had this long, long history of trying to see in what ways relations could be normalized, and we have had very little success in this regard.

But I really want to say tonight that we do believe it is important for us to continue that struggle, and therefore, notwithstanding the difficulties in the way, we deem it advisable to continue to press for a full normalization of relations.

But, of course, as we press for normalization, we are also going to continue to build our revolution. We are also going to continue to consolidate our process. In the face of all the difficulties, in the face of the economic destabilization, the political, diplomatic, and military threats and pressure, we are going to stand on our feet and keep going forward.

Third World Country Difficulties

As you know, sisters and brothers, in these times it is becoming more and more difficult for developing Third World countries to go forward. Because, unfortunately, our economies remain by and large dependent on and tied to the capitalist world economies. And therefore, when the capitalist world goes through their cyclical crises one after the other, it has an immediate effect on us. As we say at home, when the capitalist world catches a cold, we catch pneumonia.

Unemployment and Debt

n the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries, for example, it is estimated that over 35 million people in the 12-13 countries are out of jobs - 35 million! It is estimated that in the United States there are, perhaps, 12 million people out of work; in Britain, perhaps 4 million people out of work; in all of the developed industrialized countries there is greater and greater unemployment. And as this unemployment goes deeper and deeper into the society, the people who feel it the most are the poor and working people.

There are massive cuts in social welfare. The cuts are not coming in the arms race. The cuts are not coming out of the arms budget. I understand the talk is to spend $3 trillion over five years. The mind boggles. Three trillion dollars is not even three billion, which is three thousand million. But it is three thousand billion. And if you work out $3 trillion over five years, you will discover it comes down to a spending of 1.6 billion United States dollars a day.

The arms are swallowing up the money; the people are not benefiting. This crisis in the capitalist world, moreover, has led to a situation where more and more of their countries, especially in 1982, experienced only negative growth.

The effect this has had on us, in turn, has been to create a crisis in the developing world. It is now estimated that our debts exceed $650 billion - that is how much money we owe collectively. And it is not just the amount of money that is owed by one or two well-known cases like Mexico or Argentina where you are talking about staggering debts of over $80 billion. But perhaps over thirty-five countries in the developing world now owe about $1 billion or more in debts in a context where they are still unable to create the necessary surpluses to repay the debts. Last year $131 billion was spent by the countries of the Third World in just servicing their debts, in just paying the interest.

Last year, too, the purchasing power of the countries of the Third World fell again and fell very, very dramatically. It is estimated that over the last two years, Third World developing countries lost $85 billion in purchasing power via the credits we lost, via the real prices for our commodities because the prices keep falling, and via high interest rates.

Trade and Tariffs

But on top of that, we are also discovering that it is becoming more and more difficult to engage in trade with the countries of the Western industrialized world. The developing world as a whole in 1955 had 40 percent of total world trade. But by 1969, that figure had dropped to 25 percent. In other words, we lost 15 percent of the world market.

Trade is also increasingly difficult for us because of the high tariff barriers.

Decrease of Aid to Third World Countries

The reality is that aid has also decreased quite dramatically for Third World countries. Long ago the United Nations set a target that all the developed industrialized countries should aim to provide as aid 0.7 percent of their gross national product. And so far as I know from the latest figures we have seen, not one single industrialized country has yet attained that target. Collectively they are now giving only 0.45 percent of the GNP as aid.

In the old days, it was possible to supplement some of this through direct investment. In Latin America, about forty years ago, 43 percent of all direct United States investment went to Latin America. But by tire beginning of the 1970s, that 43 percent had dropped to 17 percent.

The IMF and World Bank

More and more, because of the influence of one or two countries, and in particular of one country, it is now becoming virtually impossible to get loans from the International Monetary Fund IMF or the World Bank. In fact, we know that there is a hit list which has been developed with countries like Grenada, Nicaragua, Angola, and Mozambique on it. Once any of these countries makes an application to the IMF, regardless of how good technically its program is, the instructions are to try to find all possible ways of blocking those sources of funding.

They are forcing more and more Third World countries to go directly to the international capital market, to the big commercial banks, to get loans. First of all, you have to have what they call a credit rating, and to get a credit rating you have to go to the same World Bank and IMF - not everybody can get a credit rating. But even after you get a credit rating, you have to then deal with the question of very short repayment terms and very high interest rates.

People Suffering

And while all of this is going on, sisters and brothers, there are so many people in the world who are unemployed, so many people in the world who are going to bed hungry every single night, so many millions in the Third World who are illiterate and whose governments either do not care or feel they cannot do anything to solve that problem. Unemployment, hunger, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy - these are the crimes and the sins that are committed upon the poor developing countries of the Third World while the industrialized countries continue to exploit our resources and keep the profits.

Consider what happens to the sweat of a banana farmer or a banana worker in Grenada. In Grenada, the particular transnational corporation we deal with is one called Geest Industries. Mr. Van Geest was a man who came from Holland originally, went to England, and opened a flower shop. And then he discovered there was more money in ships than in flowers. He eventually developed a monopoly of transporting bananas from many, many Caribbean countries to the English market.

It works out that for every dollar that is obtained from the sale of bananas, the banana workers and banana farmers share ten cents, and the other ninety cents goes in one form or another to Mr. Van Geest and his type. Ten cents for all of that labor and sweat. That will give as good an indication as possible of the inequities and injustice in the system.

The Grenada Revolution Goes Forward

But yet, sisters and brothers, in the face of all this the Grenada revolution has nonetheless continued to go forward and to make progress. At a time when even the big powerful industrialized nations were growing backwards last year, we grew forward by 5.5 percent. And coming out of the old history of negative development and retrogression under Gairy, when year after year it was backward growth, over the last four years of the revolution cumulatively we have grown by over 15 percent.

The revolution in Grenada started from a base under Gairy of 49 percent unemployment - one in every two people who wanted to work couldn't get a job. And among women, 70 percent unemployment, seven out of every ten could not get a job. Therefore at the dawn of the revolution over 22,000 people who wanted to work could not find work.

When we did a census last year, April 1982, the unemployment rate had dropped from 49 percent to 14.2 percent.

In the days of Hurricane Gairy - those twenty-nine years of economic, political, social, and spiritual devastation of our country and of our people - there was no such thing as a plan. There was no such thing as a capital investment program, partly because Gairy was a mystic and therefore he didn't have to plan. But also partly because he was so corrupt that nobody was willing in any event to put even ten cents in his hand unless they sent down ten police to check what's happening to their ten cents.

So in those days we had nothing called a public investment program. And when it got going, it was on the basis of very small, feeble advances. The last year of Gairy, 1978, the capital investment program was $8 million. The first year of the revolution that figure was doubled to $16 million. The second year of the revolution it was more than doubled again to $39.9 million.

The experts were saying that this is impossible - you don't have the resources, you don't have the management, you don't have enough tractors, you don't have any trucks, you don't have enough engineers, you cannot possibly do it.


You are only lucky in 1979 when you doubled Gairy's. And you are only lucky in 1980 again when you doubled your own. And then when we went to 1981 and we doubled it again, they said, we know you has the luck, but something is wrong.

And last year in 1982 it went up to over $100 million, and then we gave them the secret: we told them that in a revolution things operate differently than in the normal situation.

Three Pillars of the Grenada Revolution

We have been able to make these accomplishments because in Grenada, consistent with our three pillars of the revolution - where the first pillar is our people who are always at the center and heart and focus of all our activities - we are able to mobilize and organize people to cut out waste, to cut corruption, to stamp out inefficiency, to move to planning, to look out for production, to check on productivity, to make sure that state enterprises are not set up to be subsidized but that state enterprises, too, must become viable, must make a profit, and therefore the state sector will have the surplus to bring the benefits.

Our people have gladly been pulled into the economic process because our people see the benefits which the revolution has brought them. They understand that when thirty-seven cents out of every dollar is spent on health and education that means something.

They look around and they understand that year after year inflation is being held reasonably in check. Last year it ran at 7 percent while wages ran at 10 percent, thus ensuring an overall increase of 3 percent in the standard of living of all our people. They look around and recognize that year after year production increases. Last year in the state sector, production went up by over 34 percent. And in the private sector, production also rose.


Last year, too, there was a tremendous rise in the export of nontraditional products. The increase in the export of fruits and vegetables last year went up by over 314 percent, which is a massive increase in a short period. There are also increases in production in areas like flour and clothing, and there was a slight decrease in the area of furniture.

At the same time there were some increases in the area of our traditional export crops - nutmegs, cocoa, and bananas. Though in the case of nutmegs, there has been a tremendous problem our country has had to face, a great difficulty in obtaining sales for the nutmegs. When you are producing something like nutmegs, which is really meant primarily as a spicing flavor for foods, and when there is a crisis or a recession or whatever the fancy name we use, then people stop putting the spices in the food and therefore your nutmegs accumulate.

Health Care

But our people in Grenada are not only able to see these economic achievements in the broad terms in which I have described them, but they are able to feel what these benefits mean to them in a concrete and material way. Because today the money that the people of Grenada used to have to spend, for example, when they went to a doctor or a dentist, they no longer have to spend because they now have free health care.

They now understand that the number of doctors in the country has more than doubled, moving from a ratio of one doctor to every 4,000 before the revolution to the present ratio of one doctor for every 2,700 of our population.

Moving from a situation before the revolution where there was just one dental clinic for the whole country, today there are seven dental clinics, including one for our offshore islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique.


Our people understand the value and the benefits of free secondary education. Because they know now that once their children are able to pass a common entrance exam and get into secondary schools, they no longer have to worry about finding those fees, which for agricultural workers, for example, was very often impossible.

But not just free secondary education, but in effect free university education. Moving from a situation before the revolution where in the last year of Gairy, just three people went abroad on university scholarships and they happened to include Gairy's daughter and another minister's daughter. We moved from that situation to the first six months of the revolution, when 109 students went abroad on free university scholarships.

Our people are more and more getting to understand what we mean when we say that education to us is liberation, that education is a strategic concern of this government. That is why this year is the year we have named the "Year of Political and Academic Education." We understand the importance of bringing education to our people, of raising their consciousness, of promoting worker education classes in the workplace, at the same time giving them an academic education, providing them with skills training, ensuring that those who are not able to read and to write are now able to do so.

Following the establishment of the Centre for Popular Education [CPE] program in early 1980, within one year the illiteracy figure in Grenada was reduced to 2 percent of the entire population. And UNESCO, the United Nations body dealing with education, says if you have less than 5 percent illiteracy, you do not have an illiteracy problem.


The fact is, that while illiteracy has now been removed, there is still a serious problem of functional literacy, and therefore the second phase of the CPE program has started. In this phase of adult education - which our people at home call the night schools - for two nights a week, three hours each, in other words, six hours a week, agricultural workers, farmers in our country, clerical workers, factory workers, unemployed youth who have dropped out of school, more and more of them are now going to one of the seventy-two centers operating around the country, bringing this night school education to our people.

I really want the sisters and brothers to understand just how difficult this task is. If you can reflect back on the normal daily habits of the average agricultural worker throughout the fifties, sixties, and seventies, and to a great extent still today - if we are to be frank and honest - we understand how difficult it is to run an adult education program. The average agricultural worker goes to work early in the morning, goes home in the afternoon, does a little back gardening, then maybe heads to the rum shop to play some dominoes or sit down to talk with the partner. To ask such an agricultural worker now to come out twice a week to a night school and for three hours to sit down and go through a formal educational course is really asking a lot.

During the very first experience we had with the illiteracy phase in 1980, I remember holding several meetings from time to time with the CPE mobilizers and CPE educators, and over and over again those comrades would say that the problem is you cannot persuade the sisters and brothers to be consistent. Some nights when they're reaching a house and they knock on the door, and they say, "Where is your husband?" She say, "Not here." And when you look under the bed, you see the man hiding. In other words, it is a very difficult task. But it is a task we are trying to accomplish.

What is the background and tradition we have had? It is a background and tradition that has, generally speaking, worshipped materialism. It is a background and tradition that has meant that because of the ravages of colonialism, our people have always seen themselves as transients. Our people have always had a visa mentality. And the whole point was to catch the next boat or plane to go abroad.


Coming out of the colonial experience and fed daily all of the rubbish that we are fed through the newspapers, the radios, and the televisions, where they are proclaiming the virtues of materialism. Where they are proclaiming the importance of every single person having a video, and having the latest kind of radio that only came out six months ago, not to mention the newest kind of shampoo. That kind of thing feeds consumerism, feeds economism, and helps to hold a society back.

In our country, many people have as a sole aspiration the need to have a motor car. The fact that a motor car means foreign exchange earnings have to go out because we don't produce motor cars; that it means that more money has to be spent on gas - these things are not so easily explainable because of the political education that is daily taking place through the imperialist media.

The reason the people of Vietnam are quite content and happy that virtually every citizen can ride around Vietnam on a bicycle is in part because they have not been exposed to the corrupt and decadent values. But if we ask our people to take up a bicycle instead, of course, that is a problem. In Grenada, it's a double problem because Grenada is one big mountain and bicycles really can't work.

But the point I'm making, sisters and brothers, is the nature of the struggle that we have undergone, not only to raise production and productivity, but to instill new values in our people. As we struggle on the road towards creating a new man and a new woman, living a new life, in what we know will become a new civilization, the old culture, the old habits, the old prejudices are always there struggling against the shoots of the new. That is a struggle that we have to resolutely wage every single day of our lives.

Other Gains

But it is much easier for our people to make those sacrifices. It is much easier for them to accept the importance of doing these things which they have not been in the habit of doing, because now they know that for the first time material benefits are coming. Our people now understand that what they put out will come back, whether through free health care or free education or the number of jobs created.

With the free milk distribution program in our country last year, a small island like Grenada, 73,000 pounds of milk were distributed free every single month to over 50,000 people - nearly half of the population.

Last year, too, under the house repair program in our country, over 17,240 individuals benefited. Under this program, the poorest workers in our country are entitled to a loan to repair their houses, to fix the roofs, to fix the floors to make sure that rain does not fall on a child while he's trying to study. And after the materials are given to the worker, the worker then repays over six years at the rate of five dollars a month out of his wages.

If he had gone to a bank and knocked, let us say, on the door of Mr. Barclays, the first thing Mr. Barclays would ask him is, "Where is your collateral?" And maybe if he understand that big word, he put out his cutlass and say, "Look, no collateral." But even if he got past that word and he was able to find some collateral somehow or the other, there is still another hurdle that he'd have to go over. Because then he discovers that a loan could be only over one year. A $1,000 loan at 12.5 percent interest over twelve months would mean a monthly repayment of over $88 a month. That means that just about no agricultural worker would have been able to afford it.

And that is why today the agricultural workers understand what the revolution is about because they have felt the weight of the revolution.


The people understand that in all areas of their basic needs, attempts are being made to solve these problems. Two and a half million gallons more of water, pipe-borne water, are flowing into homes of our Grenadians at this time. Before the revolution, in many homes and in many parts of the country, pipes had actually rusted up because water had not passed there for years. The pipes just stayed there and corroded. The people understand what it means when electrification is brought to their village. The people understand what it means when they know that by the middle of next year we will have doubled the electricity output and capacity in our country, and therefore more people will have the possibility of using electricity.

Additional Benefits

Thirty percent of the lowest-paid workers in our country no longer pay any income tax at all. These workers take home all their money. Old-age pensioners had their pension increased by 10 percent last year and this year it is going up again by 12.5 percent.

Our people know that last year some $43 million were spent on the international airport project alone, and another $40 million will be spent on that project this year again.

They know that last year over forty-nine miles of feeder roads were built - feeder roads being the roads that connect the farmers to the main roads - so now the produce can be brought out safely. They know that apart from these forty-nine miles of feeder roads, that fifteen miles of farm roads were built, and fourteen new miles of main roads were also built, totaling, therefore, something like seventy-eight new miles of roads in our country last year alone.

Our people, therefore, have a greater and deeper understanding of what the revolution means and what it has brought to them. They certainly understand very, very clearly that when some people attack us on the grounds of human rights, when some people attack us on the grounds of constituting a threat to the national security of other countries, our people understand that is foolishness.

They know the real reason has to do with the fact of the revolution and the benefits that the revolution is bringing to the people of our country. The real reason for all of this hostility is because some perceive that what is happening in Grenada can lay the basis for a new socioeconomic and political path of development.

They give all kinds of reasons and excuses - some of them credible, some utter rubbish. We saw an interesting one recently in a secret report to the State Department.

I want to tell you about that one, so you can reflect on it.

That secret report made this point: that the Grenada revolution is in one sense even worse - I'm using their language - than the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions because the people of Grenada and the leadership of Grenada speak English, and therefore can communicate directly with the people of the United States.

I can see from your applause, sisters and brothers, that you agree with the report. But I want to tell you what that same report said that also made us very dangerous. That is that the people of Grenada and the leadership of Grenada are predominantly Black. They said that 95 percent of our population is Black - and they had the correct statistic- and if we have 95 percent of predominantly African origin in our country, then we can have a dangerous appeal to 30 million Black people in the United States.

Now that aspect of the report, clearly, is one of the most sensible.

Why Detainees? Why No Elections?

But, sisters and brothers, how do we evaluate other sides of the report? Like when they say that Grenada violates human rights. When they say to us, how come you have detainees, what about the press, what about elections?

When they say to us: Where are your elections?, they don't turn around at the same time and say to their friends in South Africa: Where are your elections?

When they say to us that elections must be held, and if you don't have elections you can't expect support, and unless you have elections we can't give you the normal treatment, we say: Salvador Allende of Chile.

Salvador Allende of Chile was elected in September 1970 by the people of Chile. Allende did not take power through a revolution. Within twenty-four hours of his election, Richard Nixon, [Henry] Kissinger, and [Richard] Helms sat down and devised their plan, "Operation Make the Economy Scream."

And even in the first three months after Allende was elected, before he was inaugurated as president, they already tried to kill Allende once. They couldn't even wait for him to be formally inaugurated.

Allende did not form a militia. Allende did not grab any land or property. Allende had no political detainees. Allende did not crush the press. He did not close down the parliament. He did not suspend the constitution. He played by every rule they wrote. But they killed him still.

These people understand very well that a revolution means a new situation. A revolution implies a fracture. It implies a break with the past. It implies disruption of a temporary character. Revolution means that the abuses and excesses of the violent, reactionary, and disruptive minority have to be crushed so that the majority's interests can prevail.

No revolution that does not have a dislocation can be called revolution. That is an impossibility. When the British had their revolution in the 1650s, it took them 200 years to call their first election.

When the Americans had their revolution in 1776, it took them thirteen years to call their election. In the first week of the American revolution, 100,000 fled to Canada. Thousands were locked up without charge or trial. Hundreds were shot.

And the counterrevolutionaries after the American revolution had no right to vote. They had no right to teach. They had no right to preach. They had no right to a job. Their land was confiscated without payment.

So when the falsifiers of history try to pretend that the American revolution was a Boston tea party - it was a very bloody tea party.

What To Do With Dissidents in a Revolution?

The fact of the matter is, sisters and brothers - if we are to be honest about this question - whenever revolution comes, the same questions face the leaders of the revolution. One question always is: what do you do with the bloody-minded murderers, the criminals, the ones who propped up the dictatorship. The ones who led to disappearances of our people. The ones who were beating the people, who were killing the people.

Revolutions answer that question in different ways.

Some people take them out in the streets, line them up, and shoot them down. That is one answer.

Some other people pretend that they went into the bush, and while they were in the bush as guerrillas, they shoot them down too.

Some other people create special courts to deal with them.

I am not passing judgment on any of these three models.

The Grenada revolution did not have the appetite for any of those three models. So we took what we say was the humanitarian course. We detained them and treated them well.

And you know it is highly significant that of the 400 to 500 people picked up by our masses on revolution day, on the thirteenth of March, not one of these Mongoose Gang elements arrived in the jail with even a scratch on them.

And the only reason that happened is because our people at home understand the principled position that a revolution takes on no revenge, no victimization, no torture, no ill-treatment of anyone, regardless of what they have done. It is because our people understood this, something that very often happens in all revolutions - the spontaneous upheaval of the masses - did not really happen in Grenada.

A church-based organization in Washington called EPICA wrote a book last year on Grenada. They called it, Grenada: the Peaceful Revolution. We can understand why.

So when these elements come and make these statements, we understand only too well where they are coming from. Because they understand that the processes and procedures for review are ongoing procedures. They understand that in Grenada no one is ever interfered with for what he says. No one is ever interfered with for what he writes. In fact, today criticism is deeper than ever in the society in a constructive way.

Our people also understand that the first law of the revolution is that a revolution must survive, must consolidate so more benefits can come to them.

And because of this fact, the revolution has laid down as a law, that nobody, regardless of who you are, will be allowed to be involved in any activity surrounding the overthrow of the government by the use of armed violence. And anyone who moves in that direction will be ruthlessly crushed.

Constitutional Commission

But we also feel, sisters and brothers, that the time has come for us to make another step along the way toward institutionalizing the process that we have been building for four years. And that is why only yesterday in Grenada the new chairman of the constitutional commission arrived in our capital city, St. George's, from Trinidad and Tobago, to announce the formation of the constitutional commission that has now undertaken the task of drafting a new constitution for our young revolution.

This constitution is not really going to look like the one that the Queen gave us in 1974. That constitution as we remember was one of the main reasons for the struggles of '73 and '74, when so many of us were beaten and jailed. When our families and compatriots were being murdered, one of the main reasons for that struggle was because our people were saying we wanted to be involved in the process of drafting the new constitution. And Gairy did not allow us that right. And the Queen of England could have stayed in Buckingham Palace, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and posted it to Gairy. That was the total involvement of Grenada in that constitution.

This time around, the constitution is going to come out of the bowels of our people and out of our earth. Our people will have their input and will decide what they want to see go into that constitution. This time around, the constitution will not just entrench empty rights, but will entrench rights and also provide remedies for enforcement of those rights.

How Present Constitution Works

Chapter 1 of our present constitution has twelve freedoms, fundamental freedoms. But anytime those rights are infringed and you go before the courts to see if you can do something about that: first of all you can only go by way of a constitutional motion. Secondly, that means you can only go in the high court, not the magistrate's court, which of course means money. And thirdly, once you reach the high court, even if the judge agrees with you and you win your case, the most the judge can give you is what they call a declaratory order, which declares your rights.

Now when you bring your declaratory order to the government, you then discover another maxim of the law. You cannot enforce against the Crown. In other words, you have a paper judgment in your hands that you can do nothing with.

Our New Constitution

We are going to want to put rights into the constitution, rights which can be enforced in a way that the people can themselves manage, and rights which, once the remedies are provided, will in fact be allowed by our government. A constitution with real teeth.

Our new constitution also is certainly going to institutionalize and entrench the systems of popular democracy which we have been building over these past four years in our country. Apart from the usual national elections, which will of course be there too, we are going to ensure that these embryonic organs of popular democracy continue to have a place.

Popular Democracy

Because to us, democracy is much, much more than just an election. To us, democracy is a great deal more than just the right to put an "X" next to Tweedledum or Tweedledee every five years.

The second principle of democracy for us is responsibilities. So the elected officials must at all times ensure that the mandate they are carrying out, if mandate it is, is the mandate the people want. And part of that responsibility means that the right to recall those we elect must be entrenched.

We don't believe in Grenada in presidents-for-life or elected-people for-life. We believe in service for life. And when you stop serving, you must be recalled and get out of the way for somebody else to serve.

The third principle of democracy is participating mechanisms, popular participation. We accept the well-known definition of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln said of democracy that it is government of, for, and by the people.

I accept that, it's a good definition.

But if it is government of, for, and by the people, then it cannot be just government of the people you elect. It also has to be for the people and it also has to be by them. They have to have a way of participating - that is what the word "by" means. And if that is absent, you don't really have a democracy.

So we are saying we need to have mechanisms that ensure that the people have a way of giving expression to their own feelings and concerns.

In some of the more developed, industrialized countries that have had hundreds of years to build a democracy, a number of things have developed that are perhaps helpful. Some of them have genuinely free and responsible press. Some of them genuinely allow all sections to express their views. Some of them have very effective lobbies where virtually every interest in the society can find a way to get their matter raised in congress or parliament. Some of them, of course, have a highly literate people and a highly developed public opinion, a people who can interpret for themselves, to some extent.

One form or the other of democracy may or may not be correct in those situations. Westminster parliamentary democracy, let us say, may well be acceptable to the people of England. I cannot speak to that. But I know that for the people of Grenada, at this stage in our history, Westminster parliamentary democracy is really Westminster parliamentary hypocrisy.

We believe that it is very important for the people to have a voice in running their affairs. One way is the creation of mass organizations of our people: the National Women's Organisation, the National Youth Organisation, the farmers' union, and, of course, the labor unions.

Before the revolution, Gairy had passed a law in 1978, the Essential Services Act, which took away the right to strike from the workers of our country. We not only repealed that law, but instead we passed a new law, Recognition of Trade Unions Law, under which anytime in any workplace 51 percent of the workers indicate that they want to form or to join a union of their choice, that union must be recognized by the employer.

Women and the Grenada Revolution

Not only were the women of our country without work before the revolution, the women of our country were also the most harassed and victimized of any section of our population. Those few who were granted jobs from time to time, many of them were given those jobs only on the basis of a sexual favor. Our women were being sexually exploited in return for jobs.

The very first decree of the revolution was to outlaw sexual victimization and exploitation of our women in return for jobs.

And going on from that, sisters and brothers, the revolution then passed a law, which applied to all workers in the public sector, of equal pay for equal work for all women.

We also then passed another law more recently, a maternity-leave law. And by this maternity-leave law every woman who is pregnant must be granted three months' maternity leave - two months' full pay and one could be without full pay - and a guarantee of return to employment after the pregnancy.

It is because of these laws and because of the new environment in the country that so many women have begun to step forward, have begun to assert themselves, have begun to go out and find new jobs, have begun to get fully involved in production. And that is why so many of them have joined their mass organization, so that today, at this point in time, one in every three adult women over the age of sixteen years is a member of the National Women's Organisation.

And in this organization, the women are able to experience training in democracy, training in self-rule, training in acquiring a new confidence. Once every two months they hold their parish meetings. They are also broken up into groups around the country where, among other things, they conduct political education and provide training opportunities.

Once in every two years at their congress, all the women have the opportunity of electing delegates. For six months before the congress, they have the opportunity to discuss the new program for the next two years. And then on the day of the congress, they elect their entire new leadership by a secret ballot.

Mass Organizations

So, within our mass organizations the principle of electorality is already entrenched. And for the people in general, there have been organs of popular democracy that have been built - zonal councils, parish councils, worker-parish councils, farmer councils - where the people come together from month to month. The usual agenda will be a report on programs taking place in the village.

Then there will be a report, usually by some senior member of the bureaucracy. It might be the manager of the Central Water Commission. Or it might be the manager of the telephone company or the electricity company. Or it might be the chief sanitary inspector, or the senior price-control inspector.

And this senior bureaucrat has to go there and report to the people on his area of work, and then be submitted to a question-and-answer session. And after that, one of the top leaders in our country, one of us will also attend those meetings, and ourselves give a report, and usually there is question-and-answer-time at the end of that also.

In this way, our people from day to day and week to week, are participating in helping to run the affairs of their country. And this is not just an abstract matter of principle. It has also brought practical, concrete benefits to our people.

I remember a worker-parish council in August 1981. The workers were in a real storm that night. They were complaining about the bus drivers. And they were saying that the problem with the bus service is that all six or seven buses pass at the same time on the same route. Which, by the way, is true, because they are speeding and trying to catch all the passengers.

And these bus drivers have been the most difficult people to organize. You could sit down and talk until you're blue in the face about the need for routes and the need for schedules. So the people were complaining that night and they said it had resulted very often in them reaching work late.

And there was a second complaint. They were saying that because of half price for the schoolchildren, the bus drivers were refusing to pick up their children, so the children had to walk to school in the rain or the sun. So they insisted and demanded that we get some buses to start a public bus service.

Now that is August '81. The financial year is already eight months gone. The budget has been set. But because of the pressure and the demands, we were forced to go and find money wherever we could and buy twenty-six new buses to start a public transport service for the people.

So this concept of democracy and our approach to human rights is one that has stressed solving these problems and the involvement of our people in a participatory way from day to day and week to week.

Relations With Cuba

[Critics] have also raised over and over again the question of our relations with Cuba as a second one of these red herrings. Every now and then when the red herring of detainees and elections and the press is finished, you will hear them say: Soviet and Cuban satellite. You hear them say that the links with Cuba are such that it is dangerous to the security of the region.

What do we say on this question? We say first of all that yes, we have warm, fraternal relations with the government and people of Cuba. That is true.

We say secondly that to us this is a matter of fundamental principle. And there are at least three very good reasons why we will always have good relations with the government and people of Cuba.

The first reason: we see Cuba as part of our Caribbean family of nations. One of the greatest curses of colonialism was that they divided the region according to different metropolitan centers. They taught us different languages. And then they made a great play of the fact that you are Dutch-speaking, you are Spanish-speaking, you are French-speaking, you are English-speaking, and, more recently, you are American-speaking.

And based on this linguistic nonsense, they taught us to hate each other. When we were growing up in school, they used to make us believe that the sun sets only in England. We used to be made to go down to Queen's Park on the Queen's birthday and stand up in the hot sun all day. And at the end of the day, we're hot and sweaty and tired, and they give us a bun. And I remember the St. John's Ambulance Brigade stop on the corner in case you faint, they catch you quick.

I know the first time I realized just how deep this foolishness went and the extent to which they were miseducating us and trying to make us into little Black Englishmen is when I arrived in England to study law in 1963. One of my first and greatest experiences - shocking experience, traumatic - was when I went somewhere one day. The national anthem started to play - poor little Black me, I jump up fast. When I look around, me only one standing up. Every Englishman sitting down.

You know like old Sparrow. Sparrow is such a great Grenadian, so articulate. Sparrow points out in one of his best songs that the way they were educating us, they were really educating us to make us into fools.

They tell us if you're speaking Dutch, you're the best. If it's English, you're the best, French is the best, Spanish is the best, American is the best. And all of us hating each other. When in fact we are one people from one Caribbean with one struggle and one destiny.

We see it therefore as one of our historic duties and responsibilities to pull down these artificial barriers of colonialism and to develop that oneness and that unity that we nearly lost.

We believe it is critically necessary to have close relations with all of our neighbors. That is why I have done state visits to Mexico, to Venezuela, to Panama, to Cuba, to Nicaragua, to Ecuador. The reason has been a conscious attempt on the part of this new government to try to build those bridges and to make sure that all of this alienation of the past disappears.

The second reason is, we are a nonaligned country. We believe in nonalignment. And to us, nonalignment means that you have the right to choose your own friends. Nonalignment to us means that we have the right and the duty to diversify and expand our relationships and our friendships around the world. Nonalignment to us is not something that implies neutrality. Nonalignment is not meant to make you into a political eunuch that can't speak. Nonalignment is meant to make you speak out loud and clear for what you believe in. And we have principles we believe in.

There is also a third reason we will always have relations - warm, fraternal, close relations - with the people and government of Cuba. And that is our admiration and our respect for the internationalism and the achievements of the Cuban people. Whether they like it or not, Cuba was the first revolution in this hemisphere to have succeeded. And if there was no Cuban revolution, there could have been no Grenada or Nicaraguan revolution.

Whether they like it or not, Cuba was the first country in this hemisphere to give a sound licking to U.S. imperialism at the Bay of Pigs.

Whether they like it or not, Cuban internationalist soldiers have been the first in the world to charge the racist South African monster and to face it with arms in their hands while defending Angola. If there were no Cuban internationalist troops in Angola, how long ago would the South African apartheid monster have overrun Angola with the assistance of several Western powers? Cuba is a great stabilizing factor in that Angola equation.

And that is why when they come up with this hypocrisy of linkage, and say that for Namibia to get independence, Cuban troops have to leave, we who are in the Third World understand that and have seen their bluff and will fully back the Cuban soldiers and the Angolan people in ensuring that they stay in Angola.

They can choose their South African and their Haitian and Chilean and South Korean and every dictator friend they wish. That is okay. But we can't choose our friends. Because we too small and poor to have the right to choose. They like to talk a lot about backyard and frontyard and lake. Grenada is nobody's backyard and part of nobody's lake.

The more desperate that imperialism gets, the more it comes up with the most vulgar and hostile measures to try to keep the poor oppressed people of the world, who are trying to win their national liberation and to build their own future, down.


Think of Nicaragua. Nicaragua, a country invaded over the years - two, three times in this century - by the United States. Nicaragua, a country that has been under the brutal heel of the Somozas for over forty-five years. Nicaragua, a country that, just like the Americans 200 years ago, finally resorted to their supreme right to overthrow their repressors and murderers and to take their destiny into their own hands. And when the people of Nicaragua, when the sons and daughters of Sandino assumed their liberation, when they won in July of 1979, what was the crime they committed thereafter?

Their crime was to be bold and mannish and fresh enough to say that their resources belong to them, to say that they want to build their country in their own way, to say that they want to choose their own friends, to say that they are going to build their country after their own image and likeness and not after the image and likeness of somebody else.

And because of that, you have this situation where today the most vulgar, shameless acts of the last year or so can pale only in comparison to what is happening in El Salvador, or what happened in the middle of last year in Lebanon when the Palestinian people were slaughtered. The most vulgar, shameless act of open CIA activity in their country.

The most open, vulgar, shameless act of even admitting that not only will they resort to covert actions, but if necessary, they will publicly back overt action against the Nicaraguans. The shamelessness of it can only be exceeded by the way in which sections of the media have chosen to respond.

To pretend that the Nicaraguans are losing popular support. To pretend that these murderers, ex-Somocista elements, are some kind of freedom fighters. To pretend that these butchers who will just throw bombs on women and children as they are passing and run when they see the Sandinista soldiers. To pretend that these people deserve to have some opportunity to rule the people of Nicaragua - the shamelessness of it is really extraordinary.

Contadora Initiative

And perhaps the only good thing that has come out of this recent episode, sisters and brothers, is the fact that for the first time in a long time, the people of Latin America themselves have tried to find a solution to the problems. That has been the historic meaning of the get-together of Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and Panama on Contadora, to launch the Contadora initiative. Because what this Contadora initiative is all about is really extremely important for us.

It says first of all, that we the people of Latin America and the Caribbean will try to solve our problems ourselves.

It says secondly that we do not accept the use of violence as a means of settling our disputes.

It says thirdly that we must always sit down and engage in negotiations and discussions before taking any other measures.

And it says fourthly that we are not prepared to accept that any country in our region, far less any country outside our region, has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of another country.

And even though this Contadora initiative is fast becoming all things to all men -you hear everybody saying, yes, they're backing Contadora, which must mean that some people are trying to use Contadora in ways different than the original objectives were intended-nonetheless, it is an historic first step.

But these people have also thrown out another allegation against Grenada. I want to deal with it but I know people want to go home, it's getting late.

The International Airport

This other allegation concerns the question of our international airport project. This one is of course the most comical one of all.

According to the formulators of this famous theory, Grenada's international airport is now going to become a military base, and will now become a strategic jump-off point from where we can launch an attack on the great big, powerful, mighty United States. It looks as if we have become a superpower.

But the reality of the airport, of course, is well known to all those who make those statements. This airport is an ancient dream of the people of our country. This international airport has undergone a quarter-century of studies. There are more than six voluminous reports and studies on this international airport. All previous governments from 1955 have spoken about the need for the airport.

And if you understand the situation in our country, that would be no surprise to anybody. The present airport is called Pearls. Pearls has a strip 5,500 feet long. That means only turboprop planes can come in. The turboprop planes that come in carry a maximum of forty-eight passengers.

And better still, these planes can only land during the day between 6:00 and 6:00 because there are no night lights. And we cannot put night lights there because the airstrip happens to be conveniently located between the mountain and the sea. And unless we knock down the whole of the island, you cannot put an international airport in Pearls.

We had to make a strip of 9,000 feet because of all the manuals that were done by European and American companies - I can think of McDonnell Douglas, people who do the DC-8, I can think of Boeing, and so on. They have produced manuals saying what length of strip is required if their planes are to land. So unless we born big and stupid, you cannot expect us to put down a strip that planes that can carry people, normal jet planes, won't be able to use.

This famous military base - let me tell you about it in a different way. I'll give you a little joke about it. After President Reagan's statements, one television crew - ABC in fact - came to the country. And they came and they wanted to do an interview, and they had a big fat file with all the questions. But the main question focused around the fact that we were building a sophisticated military base or at least a sophisticated military strip. So we said, okay, let's go down to the airport and take some photographs.

So these people went down there and they took photographs. They discovered that the airport had become the number one tourist attraction of the country. Every tourist on the island was taking a peek. They discovered at the end of this strip, which is also the end of the peninsula, at least two dozen Grenadians go every single evening to fish. They discovered that right at the beginning of the strip - at a distance of this podium to, let us say, the front row of that balcony, a few inches away - is where the medical school, with 700 American students, live and study. And they discovered that these medical school students, American students, were running up and down the strip, jogging, every day and every night.

ABC television also discovered that there was in fact a terminal building being constructed. Because in President Reagan's photograph, the one the spy plane took, there was a nice big cloud covering the terminal building. Quite by accident, of course. But when these people went down, that accident did not take place, so they caught the terminal building.

So they came back to put it on "Nightline" and the people of America were able to see that here genuinely was an international airport, with a full terminal building. But two days later, ABC comes back. Same crew. So I say, what's the problem now, fellows?

They say, all right. They say they agree it's not a sophisticated air base, they won't say that again. They're sorry about that. But, they now discover we have sophisticated communications facilities.

So we say, all right. We don't know anything about them. We don't know where they are. But feel free to go around the country. If you can find them, we also would like to see them.

So they spent another day or two going around. They didn't find them. They send the film back again, after asking questions and satisfying themselves that this was also nonsense.

Would you believe, the next day afterward they were back again. In other words, three times in six days. And this time they came back, they said, we have another question for you. It is not sophisticated military base. It is not sophisticated communications facilities. But we understand you all have sophisticated barracks.

Of course, they discovered that this sophisticated barracks they were talking about was no more than temporary sheds which had been constructed on the airport site in which the Grenadian and the Cuban workers who are building the airport are living.

They also discovered that time that on the same airport site are workers from a British company called Plessey, and workers from a Finnish company called Metex, who are down there right now installing the communications equipment, the navigational aids, the electronics, etc. - all the things you need to get an airport functional. Working and living together.

They also then discovered that last year an American company called Layne Dredging from Miami spent nine months in Grenada helping to build this famous military base. That this company was dredging a section of the sea where the strip has to pass. A section called Hardy Bay. And therefore for these nine months they too were working and living with Grenadian and Cuban workers, building this airport.

So I said to these fellows, well look, as you know, Grenada relies in part on tourism. So we don't mind seeing you all again. I don't mind if they send you back down tomorrow. But if you're coming back down tomorrow, try to bring a few more ABC people.

And secondly, if they will tell you it's sophisticated something else, at least make sure they come better than saying sophisticated pants, or socks, or shoes. It had really become that ludicrous.

This international airport project as we see it is the gateway to our future. As we see it, it is what alone can give us the potential for economic takeoff. As we see it, it can help us to develop the tourist industry more. It can help us to develop our agro-industries more. It can help us to export our fresh fruits and vegetables better.

As every Grenadian who has gone back home and as anybody here in this audience who has ever traveled to Grenada will know, coming to Grenada right now is a literal nightmare. Coming to Grenada right now is like a labor of love. You have to be a martyr to want to come. The amount of trouble will make you sick. And what this airport will do is remove all of that trouble and inconvenience and allow our people to fly straight into our own airport.

That is why we have made an exception this year. Usually every year at the end of December we announce what the next year will be called: the Year of Education, or Production, or whatever it is. But last month, six and a half months ahead of schedule, we announced to our people what the name of next year will be. So they can start from now to mobilize, including mobilizing overseas around the name, because 1984, next year, will be called the Year of the International Airport.

Fifth Anniversary of the Grenada Revolution

And the fact of the matter is, next year is also significant for us because on the thirteenth of March, '84, it will be the fifth anniversary of the revolution.

And as you know, people always make a fuss about the first anniversary, about the fifth anniversary, about the tenth anniversary, and so on. So we have reason to make an extra fuss next year. And therefore, what we want to do during the fifth festival on the thirteenth of March itself is to open our international airport on that date.

And I want to say to you sisters and brothers here and particularly to our Grenadian nationals, there is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement building all over the world because all of them want to be on the first flight that touches down.

When I was in London last month, addressing a rally much like this one, the Grenadians in the audience were all insisting that they will organize an inaugural flight, but the one condition is they must be the first plane to touch down.

So what we have decided to do, because of course we can't have all of them first, is to settle for inaugural flights by zones, or by cities. London will have its own inaugural, Liverpool will have its own inaugural, New York, no doubt, will have its own inaugural, Washington is going to have its own inaugural.

And what is going to be important, sisters and brothers, is to make sure you get on that inaugural because, as you realize, you'll be coming down to see the most widely publicized airport the world has ever known.

I think we should give a special round of applause to those responsible for the free publicity. You know some people have even suggested that the best name we can give the airport is the Ronnie Reagan International Airport.

Of course, they are not serious. But as you know, one of the things that has been launched at home is a competition to find a name for the airport. And we would like our people overseas to also be involved in that competition.

Sisters and brothers, I think it really is time to close, it is.

Long live the people of free Grenada!
Long live the workers, farmers, youth, and women of free Grenada!
Long live the people of the United States!
Long live Grenada-U.S. relations and friendship!
Long live the people of Cuba and Nicaragua!
Long live the people of Angola and Mozambique!
Long live the people of Palestine!
Long live the people of South Africa!
Long live the people of El Salvador!
Forward ever!
Forward ever!
Forward ever!
One love, one heart!

Bishop speaking at Hunter College, with audience responses, from La Lucha Continua: a talking mural in San Francisco

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